Hitchgathering/2021

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As usual, there will be a Hitchgathering in August this year -- come hitch to a beautiful spot somewhere in Europe to meet a bunch of other funky people to hang out, play music, do workshops, cook on the fire and celebrate the hitchhiking way of life together!

More information about the 2021 Hitchgathering will follow once location and dates have been decided on. In the meantime, please subscribe to the mailing list to join the discussion. Edit there if you have consequent ideas! Later discussion can also be brought on the Talk page. Don't hesitate!

We will probably try to come to some kind of decision by May 1st. After lengthy discussion we might do what we have done in past years, which is to poll during one or two weeks prior to that date.

Checklist adapted for current situation

Accomodation

  • Is there space for 30 to 60 people?
  • Is there any toilets or shitpit possibilities?
  • How covered are we from the elements? ---> not so important in summer, we will bring tarps and big communal tents

Food and water

  • Can we acquire drinking water somewhere nearby?
  • Are there possibilities to dumpster dive or is food cheap?
  • How will we cook?

Location

  • How overall easy/difficult is it to reach the place by free means of transport?
  • How secluded from other countries is the place? Can people come easily?
  • Can we just stay at the place or does it belong to somebody, do we need a permission?
  • Can we make fires, or do we have a place to cook?

Organization

  • Can YOU be there to help organizing in the beginning?
  • What benefits the location has to potential activities?
  • What else is important? What do we need to bring?

Date

Swaden is proposing August 2th 2021 for the official beginning, following the infos on the main page. As of now, there's a consensus for the beginning of August, so let's set this as an "official" date for now.

Location

Travel restrictions are evolving. As of now a good bet could be:

  • Eastern Europe (why?)
  • Switzerland or Sweden (because they have been very soft with their travel restrictions so far)

Set deadline for fixing a location is May 1st. Due to the situation, it might be smart to make a 'wish list' -- Plan A, Plan B, Plan C -- and then decide depending on travel situation.

Germany

Langenwerder Island on the Dieksee

Copperring said:

"It is an old wharf building on an island in a lake, located in the north of Germany about 100 km south of the Danish border. The building has a front that can be pushed open, inside there are old boats they used to ship tourists around on the lake. From the newspapers and menus I found on the boat, they have not been in use for a good 20 years and the whole building looks more like a forgotten graveyard."

Pros
  • on an island in a lake, how cool is that
  • water of the lake seemed drinkable (would be cautious tho)
  • swimming definitely possible
  • dumpsters about 4km away
  • around the lake there is a lot of forest, and the closest village is 4km away, probability of being kicked out even in this covid situation is fairly low.
  • potentially more LGBTQ+ friendly than Poland
  • solid building, provides shelter regardless of the weather
Cons
  • on an island in a lake , actually 120 meters to the closest shore. We must find/build/borrow a canoe or raft so we can arrange transport of food, gear and people.
  • not super inclusive for people with disabilities
  • Germany and its Covid restrictions, might be some trouble to hitchhike, or enter the country (however to me entering was never a problem when I said I was only in transit)
  • no permission, what are the risks? Some people call for a stable location for the main gathering since past wild camping gatherings even in pre-covid times caused difficulties of moving on the fly

Poland

Wolimierz

Dama suggests as a location for the gathering: Stacja Wolimierz. An old train station that's been converted into a theatre and festival place. She says:

"I was a volunteer there in 2018. At the time I asked if they'd be up for allowing the Hitchgathering to happen there, and they said yes. We would probably have to volunteer a bit in exchange. They have their own festival there in July every year, so the beginning of August would probably be fine. I left the place on semi-awkward terms with the owners, so I wouldn't want to ask unless people really want to do it there."
Pros
  • People there should be happy to host considering the vibe of the festival.
  • Plenty of space for camping on their festival grounds.
  • Dry toilets are available
  • Possibility for a big pregathering at Kesselberg and then hitching to Wolimierz as a big colourful flock of odd-birds
Cons
  • There are no dumpsters really close, and the ones that are further away might not be very good (although Poland does hide some surprisingly plentiful diving).
  • No swimming -- there is a pond on the Czech side for those who are quite determined, about 7 kilometers away.
  • Multiple people who have been there or not expressed strong concern on the mailing list about the inclusiveness of the people there, along Poland as a country. Other people also said it was very nice and are supportive of the idea, see the mailing list for discussion and don't mix up Atelier Wolimierz and Stacja Wolimierz.

Łąków

Dama has another proposal, in part because of the above concerns:

A private plot of land in Łąków, Poland. The closest village is called Rudnica. It’s 47 km away from the German border. Our host would be a guy named Paweł, who I met in Wolimierz (the location of the other proposal). I don’t know him very well and I’ve never been to the location. I asked him about hosting the HG a couple of years ago, and called him today to see if he’d still be up for it. He agreed straight away, but seemed to be in a rush, so I couldn’t ask him everything I wanted to. He said to call again closer to the date of the HG. If this is a place people would consider then I can call again, or send a text message with some questions.

Pros
  • Private land with permission from the owner.
  • Paweł has agreed to two weeks at the beginning of August, he just asked that a couple of people come beforehand to set things up.
  • Close to the German border (for those concerned about traveling through Poland).
  • Space for up to 100 people. I mentioned that between 20-100 people would show up, he seemed fine with this.
  • Less pressure to volunteer. It would still be nice to help out and do things, but (unlike Wolimierz) it isn’t an organized volunteer place.
  • He said there’s definitely a place to swim on his land. Seeing the map, I’m not sure if he meant the little stream, or one of those little lakes (he mentioned both a river a lake during our conversation).
Cons
  • Safety concerns due to Poland’s political actions against LGBTQ rights.
  • Time limit of two weeks. Could maybe be negotiated in the moment?
  • I’ve never been there, I don’t know the owner very well (he seems very nice and easygoing, but I don’t know how reliable he is).
  • I don’t know if there are any good dumpsters around.
  • By deciding on a location early and spreading the news, I’d be a little worried if way too many showed up (something to ask Paweł about).
  • I’m not sure about the current (or future) covid restrictions in Poland. (Current restrictions as of mid to late March are favourable to people entering by hitchhiking.) Since it would be on private land, my main concern would be that Paweł would get in trouble for hosting people. Maybe we could agree on something beforehand in case this were to happen (i.e. if he got a fine).

France

La ZAD du Lien near Montpellier

Lu. has mentionned on the mailing list that it might be possible to be hosted at the ZAD du Lien near Montpellier.

Pros
  • Lu. says the people here have plans for the summer so they might be interested. Helping will probably be needed.
  • Plenty of space for camping.
  • Easy dumpster diving at Montpellier, about ten to fifteen kilometers away. (Maybe not great for hitching in and out.)
Cons
  • Possible evacuation by police, it already happened once in October.
  • Some people expressed concerns about politicising the gathering too much, would this apply to holding it AT a ZAD?

Scandinavia

Kinnaroden, Norway (Cape Nordkinn)

There is a small cabin at Europe's northest point Kinnaroden in Norway as mentionned by To.

Pros
  • Dumpster diving possible next town.
  • Beach close by.
  • Fresh water available.
Cons
  • Far from central Europe.
  • Pretty isolated

Abisko, Sweden

There is a free camp site in the National Park as mentioned by To.

Pros
  • Sweden never closed it's border due to COVID-19.
  • Small dumpster close by and bigger one 40 km from there.
Cons
  • Also very far from central Europe.

Discussion

Follow or join the discussion on the hitch mailing list!

Activities

There will be games, music, skinnydipping if there's a lake, or otherwise rolling around naked in the sand. Massage circles and many, many workshops. Late-night joints and bottles of wine passed around, discussions on how to -- you know.

Promotion

Stickers have been printed by C. See the mailing list for informations.

Pre or post gatherings

C. proposed Kesselberg, an anarchist bastion in a forest in Germany for a pregathering. He said there is a group called Ecotopia doing a bike tour and that we could meet with them. Some people of the mailing list are part of the organisation so communication is easy. Like he said in his mail, I think it's a good idea to have pregatherings so people can met in smaller groups and have already a little bit of connivance before reaching the main gathering. Doing this is nice but we need to coordinate correctly. --Swaden (talk) 18:47, 24 March 2021 (CET)

We can organize easily small pregatherings at the infinity of forest cabins available in Switzerland, Sweden or Norway.

Online event

Some people have proposed the idea of conducting an online event for people not able to attend the gathering.